Can Chickens Eat Honey? (Is This Sweet Treat Safe or Toxic?)

Sharing is caring!

Do you marvel at the question, can chickens eat honey? I did, too, until I found out the answer:

Yes, chickens can eat honey thanks to its sweet taste, and it’s good for them.

What’s more, this yummy stick stuff is rich in antioxidants and micronutrients.

But before you leave, I’ve more to tell you ― if you dare to know the truth…

Key Takeaways

  • Honey can offer your chickens a healthy, tasty treat.
  • Not all honey is the same: stick with raw or organic honey.
  • Honey can be harmful if you feed it too much, so only in moderation.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Honey?

Did you know that honey has some spectacular benefits? Here’s a fun fact:

Dr. Peter Molan, a New Zealand biochemist and founder of Waikato University’s Honey Research Unit, has the following to say about the magic of honey:

Honey has pre-emptive antioxidant activity; it can stop potentially cell-damaging free radicals from forming.” [1].

Nature didn’t create all honey on equal merit. Most of the ones you find in grocery stores are pasteurized. 

By pasteurizing honey, you will, because of the heat, destroy and kill unwanted yeast and remove any crystallization that may form. 

Manufacturers do this to improve the quality and extend the shelf life of the honey, but sadly, at the expense of nutrition.

More so, I want to tell you something about raw honey. This type is the gold standard of honey as it contains the most nutrients. But there’s a pitfall: it’s expensive.

Your chickens will benefit from either type. But if you can, go with raw honey.

Below are some of the benefits the chickens can get out of eating honey:

1. A Good Source of Antioxidants

Honey is rich in antioxidants. Some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables [2].

Antioxidants help to protect the chicken from cell damage due to free radicals.

2. Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties

Honey is known to kill unwanted bacteria and fungi. It naturally contains a substance called hydrogen peroxide, which is an antiseptic.

To heal these horrible wounds and cuts on your chicken’s skin, apply some honey to it.

What’s more, you will notice that the infected area will heal faster ― speaking of solving 2 problems with 1 solution…

3. Help with Digestive Issues

You can sometimes use honey to help chickens that have diarrhea. Giving them some honey will help stop them from having diarrhea.

Honey is also a potent prebiotic, which nourishes the good bacteria in the chicken’s intestines.

Besides, keeping your chicken’s intestines clean is crucial for a healthy digestive system.

For more on honey’s superb benefits, feel free to check this out:

How To Feed Honey To Chickens

Honey’s texture is often too thick and sticky for your chickens to enjoy.

Your chickens will have a problem eating fresh honey, wrestling with it, and fighting it off their beaks ―  a huge mess you want to avoid.

As you can see, once you feed your chickens, honey, it’s best to have a how-to guide. Well, here it is:

Dip the bread in honey. Did you know that chickens love to eat bread? It’s one of their favorite foods.

By dipping bread in some honey and feeding your chickens this delight, you will offer them a nutritious snack armed with a handful of good stuff.

Besides bread, you can mix in fruits and vegetables too. Lightly coat them with honey and feed them to the chickens.

Mix honey with water. Put some honey into their water and mix it until it dissolves into the water.

This honey-water mix is a great way to feed sick chickens that need some honey nutrition to get them well quickly.

Feeding them honey by spoon. This method can get messy, but it’s another method of feeding honey to chickens.

You’ll want to let each chicken peck at the honey at a time. Too many chickens at once will make the honey spill everywhere.

How Much And How Often To Feed Honey To Chickens

So, can chickens eat honey? You asked, but ― I can assure you ― there’s more to it:

Given its high sugar content, honey should be fed to chickens in moderation and given to them as a treat.

Too much of it and your chickens can become overweight and have other related health issues.

To be safe, stick with a couple of times a week and substitute in other treats as well ― fruits, vegetables, and grains [3].

You’ll want to give about a teaspoon of honey to every five chickens at each feeding. You don’t want to feed them too much, or they will avoid eating their staple food.

Anything other than staple food should consist of only 10% of their main diet. The rest will be in the form of commercial feeds.

These feeds are great: manufacturers formulated them to provide the right amount of nutrition for the chickens.

Are you considering adding apricots or kiwi to your chickens’ diet? Our articles “Can Chickens Eat Apricots” and “Can Chickens Eat Kiwi” provide valuable insights and advice on feeding these fruits to your feathered friends.

FAQs

1. Can Chickens Eat Honeycomb?

Absolutely! Honeycomb has no toxins or harmful substances, so it’s safe for your chickens.
The best way to feed honeycomb to chickens is by tying them up in the air, as dirt won’t be able to get on them.

2. Can Chickens Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?

No. Sadly, these honey nut cheerios aren’t even pure honey: These are stacked with excess sugar and various impurities, flavorings, and additives harmful to your chickens.

Conclusion

If you’re not convinced that the answer to can chickens eat honey is yes, grab some honey!

Much of honey’s positives come from its nutrients.  

This nature’s only golden glory arms your chickens with health benefits. But beware! You know what happens when you chuck a bunch of honey on bread: It’s often too sweet. 

As for types, most commercial honey isn’t as nutritious, so I recommend you opt for 2 options: raw honey or organic honey. 

On a side note, honey can be very sweet, so beware: sweetness in excess can cause various ailments. 

But that’s not all: comment below about how much you cherished my advice, and feel free to share your terrific honeyliscious stories with me.

Until next time…

honey in a jar

Resources

1. Ballard D. Screened & Examined. Emergency Medicine News. 2012;34,:1.

2. Shoemaker S. 7 Unique Health Benefits of Honey [Internet]. Healthline. 2021. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-honey

3. What should I feed my backyard hens? – RSPCA Knowledgebase [Internet]. 2020. Available from: https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-should-i-feed-my-backyard-hens/

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
Follow her on:
LINKEDIN
TWITTER.
Read her latest articles HERE
Learn more about her HERE.

Leave a Comment

SUBSCRIBE OUR NEWSLETTER

NEVER MISS A NEWS OR DISCOUNT